Stewart McDonald MP has quizzed the MoD frontbench on the £80,000 costs it has incurred in its ongoing attempts to privatise the MOD Fire and Rescue service — a move that could see some of the UK’s most sensitive assets being secured by Capita.
In June last year, the outsourced contract for the firefighting service was awarded in highly controversial circumstances to outsourcer Capita - a move which was objected to by the SNP Defence team given Capita's risk rating and potential costs to the taxpayer.
However the privatisation process was halted after Serco, which lost out to Capita, tabled a legal challenge.
Now, the MoD has struck a last-minute deal with Serco, which will enable the outsourcing to Capita to continue with the contract while Serco continues its court battle for more compensation - having already won £80,000 from the MoD after a court ruling in March.
Stewart McDonald SNP Defence spokesperson commented:
‘’This is yet another MoD Whitehall farce. I had already written to Defence Ministers objecting to the Defence Fire and Rescue service being outsourced to Capita, after the contract received the highest possible risk rating by the MoD.
"Now the MoD seem to have ensured Capita was finally given a contract worth millions to deliver services all over the world, despite the huge financial risk, and having already forked out £80,000 of taxpayer money to keep Serco onside.
‘’Why was £80,000 paid to Serco to allow that to go ahead? And why has Capita been awarded the contract without any update being given to Parliament? It shows up the whole problem with privatisation at the Ministry of Defence."